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GOP needs new N.Y. congressional candidate

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Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) seen on this October 10, 2001 file photo. (UPI/ Roger L. Wollenberg) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/97edcae496b1c2a9078bb24b36e62801/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) seen on this October 10, 2001 file photo. (UPI/ Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

NEW YORK, June 23 (UPI) -- The race to replace U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella, R.N.Y., appears wide open again now that the leading GOP contender has died of a heart attack.

Retired Wall Street executive Frank Powers, 67, died in his sleep at his Staten Island home Sunday, throwing a major curve into the strange race for New York City's only Republican-held congressional seat.

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"I think we need to go back to the well and revisit everybody we considered," Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton said.

Fossella had decided not to seek re-election in the wake of a drunken-driving arrest and revelation he fathered a child out of wedlock. His decision meant Powers, his former-fundraiser, was the expected GOP nominee for the November election, the Daily News reported Sunday.

Powers' son, Fran Powers, 47, had once considered running for the same seat as a candidate of the Libertarian party. Democratic leaders have endorsed Councilman Mike McMahon for the seat.

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